Visby, Gotland , Sweden

teeped in medieval history and brimming with ruined churches, the rose-entwined, walled town of Visby, on the island of Gotland, is a huge draw for visitors from around the world. Quaint cobblestone streets snake about the town, and when exploring, it's all too easy to lose your sense of being in the modern world. Adorned with stepped gables, many medieval trading houses remain, as well as some timber buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Clearly, Visby's reputation as 'the pearl of the Baltic' and UNESCO World Heritage Site status are both well deserved. A self-guided or guided tour of the magnificent walls, which date back some 700 years, is a must. Built into the structure are some 44 defensive towers, and the walls still bear the scars of attack in the form of two breaches. Direct flights are available from Stockholm and several other Swedish cities as well as excellent ferry links.

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